Well, where the heck are we now? We thought we were going to arrive in Tarija, Bolivia in the middle of the night but instead, woke up on a nearly empty bus about 30km away. Yet another worker’s strike with a road blockage … ho hum. At least we didn’t have to pay for a room. We hiked to the front of the line of stopped vehicles and found a taxi with an entrepreneurial driver to take us in to Tarija.
We made it. Tarija at last! We were already enjoying the warmth of the lower elevation after our very cold and windy, but very amazing, visit to the Altiplano. (See the Salar de Uyini update). There were many restaurants, hostels and a great market without the congestion of La Paz nor the desolation of the altiplano. Just our kind of town.
We found a great place to stay, but can’t remember the name. It was an addition on the top floor of a nice hotel with a solarium style common area. Very nice and warm during the day. The market and wine store were nearby. We basically lived here for a couple of weeks.
The great place we can’t recall the name of
We set up our ‘sound system’ in the solarium and enjoyed the warmth, wine and meeting other travelers or reading a book.
The view from our rooftop betrayed the fact that this was a wine region. Tarija lies just north of the Argentine border and is not that far from Mendoza. The Bolivian wines have a way to go before they can be mentioned in the same breath with the Argentine wines, but they are coming along nicely. Trust us, we tried them all!
This was our favorite place to eat and saice was our favorite dish. Saice consisted of peas, ground beef, potatoes and wonderful spices. This stall was right inside the market amid at least a dozen more like it. The ribs were also really tasty and for less than $2US, with a beer, it didn’t get any better than this!
Room for dessert anyone?
Ah… here’s a taker! Almost every day Pat enjoyed a cup of flan. The woman who ran the stall would see him coming from across the market and have it ready by the time he got there. Yummmmy!
This was a government building being spruced up with a fresh coat of paint for the upcoming elections.
Signs and graffiti supporting ‘Autonomia’ were everywhere. The more prosperous regions of Bolivia were voting to gain autonomy from the rest of Bolivia. They were not happy with the majority of their tax dollars going to aid the poorer sections of the country like La Paz and the coca growing regions in the jungle.
We met a group of people from the States working with the Peace Corps. It turned out that one of the women finished up her tour of duty and a big party was held in her honor. We were invited and obviously couldn’t turn down an invitation to the police chief’s house. This was the gang before the pisco and beer started flowing.
A little pisco later and we had a party going on!
Let the games begin! If you know better, you won’t challenge nuns of Tarija to a game of beer pong. They are deadly accurate and decent drinkers too. I think they’ve played this game before….
All of the beer pong losers and pisco victims seemed to have a good time anyway. The next morning was slow going, but quickly forgotten as we hopped on a bus to Argentina.